Weekly Thought – August 12, 2014
Fred once read that root canals without anesthetic were a form of WWII torture. When his dentist told him one was in his future, he decided to see if he could have endured the pain. SO, he did it without anesthetic! He made it, giving the dentist one of those “let me tell you about my crazy patient” stories. Fred recalled the experience, telling others it only took his nervous system six months to recover.
Plan for Pain
Bob Richards, former Olympic gold medalist, and I lectured together. I listened in as he interviewed other Olympians. “What do you do when you hurt?” Each one of them had a specific routine for the painful times. I was curious and asked him later, “Why did you ask that?” Quickly, he replied, “No one wins the gold without hurting.” They expected it and planned for it. It was part of the perseverance plan on the road to the victory stand.
Marathoners anticipate “hitting the wall.” A business associate began running 26+ mile races in his 50th year. His first one was at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The runners call it “Running the Rock,” and know exactly where they will experience the great depletion of mental and physical energy. As he ran it year after year, he knew the mile marker and trained to break through it.
Our daughter, Brenda, entertained her young grandson, Andrew at a play area. She watched him try over and over to climb atop the tree-like molded plastic form. He slipped, fell, bruised his knees, but kept going after it. She decided he had tried enough, and suggested they play somewhere else. He looked her square in the eye as he hung a few feet from the top. “Gram, do you know what a champion is? Until I get to the top I won’t be a champion.” He knew the pain of perseverance and the cost of championship.
My friend Robert Schuller often said on national TV, “no pain, no gain.” That’s true, but without genuine perseverance there can be pain with no gain. I am interested in your gain, and I want you to plan for pain as you develop.
Successful executives structure their lives in such a way there are as few surprises as possible. Building an internal infrastructure to prevent emotional surprises is a key element of endurance. Can we always know what to expect? Of course not, but we can certainly know that difficult times will produce pain. Preparation will strengthen our resolve to sustain. It will also short circuit our desire to use avoidance techniques.
Going and growing through the pain produces maturity – running away doesn’t.
This week consider: 1) How is my pain management strategy working? 2) What am I teaching others about successful living? 3) Who best reflects healthy life planning?
Words of Wisdom: “… but without genuine perseverance there can be pain with no gain.”
Wisdom from the Word: “As a result we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and afflictions you are enduring.” (2 Thessalonians 1:4 NET Bible)